November elections should not matter in impeachment...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 14, 1998

November elections should not matter in impeachment vote

Your article "Vote may be costly for some" (Dec. 7) implied that Republican members of Congress would suffer a backlash if they voted on the facts of the case against the president, and for this reason, some Republicans are less likely to vote for impeachment if it means imperiling their political careers.

This accusation was not, however, applied to Democratic members of Congress who intend to vote for impeachment.

This article would have been more credible if the writer had given some evidence that this is true. For the majority of voters, the outcome of the Nov. 3 elections have very little to do with the impeachment proceedings. And given the short attention span of the voting public, it will have even less importance in the 2000 elections.

The most important message that came out of that article was the integrity of U.S. Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Baltimore County. His carefully thought-out analysis of the evidence against the president and his reasoned conclusion for voting for impeachment was irrefutable. In contrast, Rep. Constance A. Morella's reasoning for leaning against impeachment sounded very shallow.

I applaud Mr. Ehrlich's courage. His constituents should be very proud to be represented by a man who respects the rule of law.

Alice J. Tates

Baltimore

Gingrich as the fall guy for impeachment push

Watching Congress in recent days, I've got to wonder if Newt Gingrich didn't fall on the sword for his puppeteer.

Howard Gelzhiser

Catonsville

Congress' focus on scandal interferes with real work

I have watched this past year as our country has been transfixed upon the spectacle of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. I am disheartened by what I have seen. Our country is spending too much time, energy and money on a matter that has very little significance to our future.

Most Americans are concerned about education, Social Security and crime and what Washington is going to do about these issues. Citizens should contact their elected representatives in Washington and tell them to get on with the work that we sent them to do.

Ed Hershon

Reisterstown

Starr-like effort was needed for Iran-contra scandal

I read with amusement the letters to the editor ("'If I lied under oath, I would be punished; President Clinton should be, too,' " Dec. 5). The writers expressed outrage over what they saw as a president escaping punishment. One writer even lamented "lying Democrats" and "punished Republicans." Give me a break.

This so-called scandal is nothing more than Kenneth Starr and his sex police doing what these right-wingers would deplore in an instant if it were aimed at one of their own. He has exceeded the authority of his position and invaded a citizen's private life. He has done this in a vain attempt to unconstitutionally remove a sitting president.

If these hand-wringers want a real scandal, they need look no further than to one of their own. No, not Richard Nixon and Watergate. I mean the president who oversaw the illegal sale of arms to a terrorist nation, who thwarted the will of Congress, who lied through his minions to this same Congress, who violated the separation of powers enumerated in the Constitution and who helped arm right-wing insurgents to cause the deaths of countless innocent people.

This president not only escaped accountability for his actions; an airport was named after him. Where was Kenneth Starr when we needed him?

Joe Devereaux

Havre de Grace

Will's column on Pinochet poorly thought-out jumble

Has George Will lost his mind? His commentary (Dec. 10) on allowing General Augusto Pinochet to return to Chile would be offensive if it made any sense. If the headline hadn't given it away, I would have a hard time deducing from the text whether he is opposed to or in favor of prosecuting the general.

Instead of proposing a point and developing an argument in its defense, Mr. Will strings together sentence fragments, empty epithets and non sequiturs until he has hit on all his pet peeves and filled his allotted space. Should we be impressed that he can make reference to Hitler's election, the Dow Jones average and Tiananmen Square in successive paragraphs? Only if it makes sense.

Among the many inconsistencies in logic and misrepresentations history, consider just the fact that Mr. Will wants to respect Chile's "democratic government" when it comes to Mr. Pinochet's amnesty but not when it involved the election of Salvador Allende.

I suspect that if George Will's name had not been attached, you would not have printed such a poorly thought-out, meandering jumble. Surely you can find a better use for this space, a better writer for your commentaries, a better student of history for your paper.

Ian Hurd

Baltimore

Nonstop toll taking welcome in Maryland

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